The mission of the RSHM has led them to ‘respond to the needs of those who are most in need of justice, especially women and children, enabling the powerless, the deprived, the marginalized, the voiceless to work effectively for their own development and liberation.’ The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary run social missions in 14 countries, including four countries in Africa.
In 1998, the four RSHM international schools in Europe each adopted and became responsible for the four RSHM missions in Africa. Marymount International School, Paris sponsors the RSHM mission in Zimbabwe, where RSHM sisters have been working in Harare, Mutare and Chinhoyi since 1963.
This vision of linking schools to missions enables the sisters to continue their important work in the places where they are needed the most. In return, our students are given an opportunity to look beyond their own world and context, and develop a compassionate but critical view of global issues.
By building learning opportunities inspired by the RSHM Zimbabwe mission into the curriculum, we aim to cultivate the intellectual and emotional leadership skills our students need to tackle the pressing global problems of the future.
Marymount Community Support for the RSHM Mission
To raise awareness and generate financial support for the sisters, their works, and the needs of the children in Zimbabwe, students, parents and faculty at our school participate in numerous projects, events, and fundraising initiatives. Funds have provided scholarships, tuition fees, uniforms, supplies, food, access to remedial learning, HIV/Aids care and much more, to hundreds of children and their families.
Our school raised more than €25,434 as direct aid for the Zimbabwe missions in the 2014-2015 School Year.
- Scholarships for Primary and Secondary School
- Remedial Education
- Adult Literacy Education
- HIV/AIDS Care
- Food Relief
- Homeless Assistance
Each year, donations allow nearly 200 children to attend primary and secondary schools in Mutare and Chinhoyi. These schools serve children from families who cannot afford the fees and uniforms at Zimbabwe public and parochial schools. Many of the students are orphans. Assistance with the cost of tuition, uniforms, and supplies help these families to spend what little they have on other basic necessities such as food and clothing.
With financial assistance from Marymount, the RSHM are able to pay 12 teachers to tutor 100 children. The older children receive tutoring to pass their school examinations. The younger children have never attended school, either because they are orphans or because their parents have failed to get them into school. When they receive enough tutoring to reach a standard to be able to cope with regular school, their school fees are paid with the help of our donations.
During the war of independence, many of the parents were of school age but did not attend class because of safety concerns. The RSHM uses financial donations to sponsor an adult literacy program. With the help of this initiative, illiterate parents acquire the reading skills needed to understand their children’s school reports, read the Bible, and sign their names, instead of just making a mark.
The RSHM also supports the salary of a nurse who dispenses medication and directs trained volunteer caregivers to make regular home visits to AIDS patients. The Sisters use their training and expertise to provide therapeutic massage and pastoral counseling to relieve suffering from this illness, as well as to assist families who must cope with bereavement.